According to Marty Mulcahy, Michigan Building Trades’s Editor, Ed Tunison, a World War II vet, was an Airman who served on C-47, flew with the 9th Air Force, 434th Troop Carrier Command, 74th Troop Carrier squadron. He was twin-engine transport plane’s radioman and he enlisted in the Army Air Corps at age 19. When he was all of 21 years old, he and the other five members of the Lassie’s crew received their orders for D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France. Howevert, the pilot always insisted that all the crew members perform each other’s functions, including piloting the plane.
This journalist tells that “Placid Lassie” was a C-47A Skytrain that participated in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, dropping paratroopers over Normandy (France).
Having survived D-Day, the “Placid Lassie” and her crew supplied Patton’s Third Army and the 9th Air Force during his travel across Europe. They landed with food, ammunition and fuel, sometimes they pushed the goods out of the door and let parachutes do the work.
During Operation Market Garden the plane towed British Horsa gliders into Eindhoven (Holland). This military operation was an airborne invasion that was a failed attempt to land about 35,000 troops to finish off what the Allies assumed was an all-but-defeated German army to liberate the Dutch from Nazi Germany’s rule.
One of their missions was hauling gasoline and other materiel during the Battle of the Bulge. This plane supplied U.S. troops during this battle and also ferried German prisoners. During its service in the war the Lassie was hit by enemy fire, “but nothing that affected our plane or our mobility. We were very fortunate,” Tunison said.
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